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Universities World Wide

 
 
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 06:07 am
How did you pick your college or University and if you have children have you made plans yet?

Colleges and Universities World-Wide
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 7,723 • Replies: 49
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 07:45 am
Is a college education "necessary"? Nope. 70% of US adults don't have one and the rate is even higher in much of the rest of the world. Depending on what a person wants to do for a career it may not be a bad idea and classes in areas of interest are always good whether they result in a degree or not but "necessary" is to strong a term for it.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 07:55 am
I think that one needs to determine the motivation for going to college. If a person wants training in a field that needs the credentials, definitely, yes.

I think that there is another reason for going to college that has absolutely nothing to do specifically with earning a living. College is a place where a person is taught those things that make a more well rounded person, with an understanding of the literature, art, social sciences, etc., all those things that enhance the culture of a society.

I don't think that every recent HS grad. is mature enough, or even ready for college, or whether they will even benefit from it at that time. I say this as a person who completed my formal education in my thirties. The first time around, as a 17 year old, I was not near ready for higher education. I left after a year.

In my 30s I absorbed higher learning like a sponge. I adored going to classes, and looked upon college as a joy, not a chore.
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Anonymous
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:03 am
Hi All!

In todays world, I think a college education is a necessity. The fact that 70% of US adults don't have a college degree should be a lament, and a condemnation of the US educational system.

We should be taking that annual 400 Billion we are giving the Pentagon each year and put it towards national education.

The United States has a very perverted notion of what's important!

Anon
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:05 am
fishin' wrote:
70% of US adults don't have one and the rate is even higher in much of the rest of the world.


I think that's due to the fact that a high school education used to mean something in this country. Now it's expected. A college education is becoming a requirement for the under 40 set, simply expected as high school used to be. Even in the labor trades, police forces, fire departments, a degree bumps up the pay scale and some of the people that are interested in those lines of work are going to college first to overstep the starting hourly rates and go onto bigger starting salaries.

I think you'll see that 70% number get lower and lower as the next generation comes of age. Right now, 50% of all adults ages 18 - 30 have a degree or have been/are enrolled in college.

When I graduated from high school, only 10 out of my class of 173 didn't go into college. Not to say that they all graduated, but it's a huge difference from the 10 that probably went on to college when my father graduated from a class of 250.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:10 am
Phoenix! I started liking learning in my last 2 semesters at college. I'd love to go back. Maybe after this little recession we're having.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:26 am
Honestly, I think the value of a college education for everyone has devalued what a college education is. I haven't actually looked this up or anything, but I'm guessing part of the reason there was such an explosion of colleges in the U.S. during the '60s was increased demand because of the student deferment for the draft. Once we pulled out of Vietnam (or, more accurately, once the student deferment was eliminated) there were a bunch of empty classrooms to fill.

Not that higher education isn't tremendously valuable, and not that everybody shouldn't have access to it, but I've attended and worked in several colleges and universities, and they are full of students who -- like me in my first go-round at the university -- are only there because it's expected of them and/or they don't know what else to do. There are reams of undemanding courses that offer nothing in the way of content, that exist primarily so that students can satisfy their general education requirements without damaging their all-important GPA. I got a lot out of my first four years, but I got a lot more out of having to work a shite job afterward because my degree mattered very little in the private sector and my aimlessness and lack of commitment had ill-prepared me to enter my major field of study. And I graduated with honors. What do you think those people who just barely slogged through my major are doing (besides trying to pay off their loans)?

Okay, I've got myself all distracted now. Where am I? Oh, yeah. The short of it: I think we've come to see higher education for our children as an end in itself, as some sort of guarantor of future success and happiness. And for that and other reasons I say no, it is absolutely not essential.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:32 am
Sugar wrote:
A college education is becoming a requirement for the under 40 set, simply expected as high school used to be. Even in the labor trades, police forces, fire departments, a degree bumps up the pay scale and some of the people that are interested in those lines of work are going to college first to overstep the starting hourly rates and go onto bigger starting salaries.


That's the entire point though. The "screeners' that do the hiring looked for a discriminator for their hiring/promotion processes. One that has always been used is the education level completed. But that becomes a self-fufilling thing. Someone sets it up as a ranking factor and then people start getting their degree to score those points in the ranking system. After a while you get to a point of critical mass (which we are getting to in many areas...) and then the idea becomes that you "need' the degree.

The job hasn't changed though! The "need' is a social construct, not an actual requirement for doing the job to begin with. If all of these jobs that are listed as "needing" a degree really needed those degrees then why do they hire people that have degrees in other fields? How many people do you work with that either don't have degrees or have degrees in some other field than what they are working in? But when those people leave their positions the HR team cranks out another "Help Wanted" ad and they'll list that specific degree in there...
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:35 am
Patiodog brings up a good point about the loans that most college students have. I wonder what the collective debt on school loans is in the U.S.?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:39 am
I agree with Phoenix about the side benefits of college -- not just figuring out a way to make a living, but learning how to be an adult. People probably learn faster if they're thrust into the workplace, but college offers all kinds of nets and padding for if you mess up, while real life tends NOT to.

I also agree with patiodog and Fishin' about a degree meaning less than it used to, though. I know this gal with a Ph.D, and she is dumb as a rock. Seriously. I shake my head everytime I think of it.
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:46 am
Quote:
After a while you get to a point of critical mass (which we are getting to in many areas...) and then the idea becomes that you "need' the degree.


But the question was "do you need a college education"? Indeed you do, my case in your point <bg>. To make matters worse, now I need a Masters degree. I don't have one,and really don't want one, but that's what my potential employers are looking for or my resume goes in the round file under "Not Qualified" - even though I certainly am, goddamnit!. <deep breath>

Quote:
How many people do you work with that either don't have degrees or have degrees in some other field than what they are working in?
Admittedly, I may work in a field that is an exception to the general rule. I don't think it's unfair to say that 90% of the people I work with have at least a Bachelors Degree. I do some work in the field I have my degree in, but it is fair to say that most people probably do not.

Quote:
But when those people leave their positions the HR team cranks out nother "Help Wanted" ad and they'll list that specific degree in there...
I never said HR was smart, I just said they require a degree. Any present HR personnel excluded, of course. Wink


I don't think you are unqualified if you don't have a degree, but I know that most people looking at candidates will pass over a 'less-educated' person for someone with a piece of paper. That being said, I also think there will again come a time where merit will count over degree level, but that playing field will cut out the majority of people with no degree at all.
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Anonymous
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:50 am
Hi Again:

The college degree says something about the person that earns it.

Yes, some college classes at the beginning can be more than mundane and senseless, but I have a grand daughter at Brown University, and I can tell you she isn't getting any kind of a break with gimmee classes there.

Education is tantamount. Education rounds out and gives the person length and breadth. Education increases tolerance and understanding.

Most of the problems of the United States today are reflected in the dumbing down of the nation. The ignorant and uneducated are easily manipulated and herded because they don't know any better.

The first people that tyrannical dictators and corrupt administrations go after are the educated because they will be the thorns in the side of those who wish to control and manipulate the ignorant and badly educated.

The Bush campaign boasted about aiming their campaign at the eighth grade level. There was a good reason for that!!

Anon
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 10:51 am
I believe college education is not an absolute necessity, but's it's gradually becoming one, in all countries.

At-work learning of the tools of the trade in non-menial jobs, or self-learning is now way more difficult than it used to be. Also, universal High School has dropped the standards for High School graduates.
Some employers are flexible enough to look for people who know things but don't have a certificate or to train people on the spot. But it's usually small companies. Corporations and governments ask for papers.

I had no doubts as to which University I wanted to study: the National University, where everyone in the country wanted to go. Later, when we were offered a scholarship to continue our studies in Italy we asked our professors as to what University to choose. Their advice, we found out, was very sound.

My oldest son studies also at the National University. The second one made his application for the academic year 2003-2004 to both the National University and a respected private college which happens to be the one with the best "employability" record (hoping to win a scholarship). He bids for both, even if he has been told that the academic level in the National University is higher.

A problem for US higher education is the cost.
The fee for one year in Mexico's National University was, in the 70s, the equivalent of 16 American dollars a year, plus 4.50 dollars for use of libraries and sports and medical facilities. Now it's free: you pay what your want.
The fee in Italy's University of Modena was the equivalent of 100 dollars a year, including library, insurance and heating. (In fact, the heating cost was 20 dollars a year).

Public funding of higher education is crucial for the development of a country. In the last decades, the fiscal crisis of the State has limited such funding. It's not a minor problem.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:00 am
Wow!!!!!! Some tuition. Yeah, it's not a minor problem here AT ALL. I got scholarships, but am still paying off a big big big debt from 6 years (undergrad and grad) of college.
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Anonymous
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:06 am
Macsm11:

You point is well taken about the college loans. That's why the war money needs to be redirected to education, rather than making the defense industry fatter!!

Money paid to the Pentagon is money down the toilet, and the faster we hack off their brassies, the sooner we can get to the important things, like ... education!!

Anon
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:09 am
Sugar wrote:
To make matters worse, now I need a Masters degree. I don't have one,and really don't want one, but that's what my potential employers are looking for or my resume goes in the round file under "Not Qualified" - even though I certainly am, goddamnit!. <deep breath>


What ? You're "Qualified"? Very Happy Then why do you NEED it? You don't! You may WANT it. You may DESIRE it.. You may even COVET it. But if you are already qualified then you don't NEED it.

The degree has become what a car is to a 16 year old kid. They turn 16 and suddenly they "need" a car. Not only that but it can't be just any old car. They "need" a brand spankin' new Lexus or BMW to drive themselves to school...
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Anonymous
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:15 am
Fishin':

You're ignoring everything else that has been said about a higher education. That's not an honest treatment of the subject.

Anon
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Anonymous
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:24 am
Hi All:

Progress is impossible without an educated populace.

Without education, we are stuck where we are.

Those that poo poo the necessity of a higher education are crippling their children and grandchildren in the future!

That's up to them, but those children will be competing with mine, who WILL BE college educated.

For Me ... There is no choice. My grandchildren will all go through college, period!!

Anon
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:32 am
<Note to self: Find out where fishin works and have him get me a kick-ass job - will tell the HR that he sez I'm qualified without stinkin' paperwork>
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2003 11:33 am
For what it's worth, I thought fishin's comments were pertinent. I don't see him saying that people SHOULDN'T get a college education.
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